If you are under fifty years of age, you may not recall the explosive, dynamic yet short life of Jimmy V. from Queens, NY. Jimmy was a memorable man full of passion for his family, his community and for the game of college basketball. Jimmy was a great athlete but his passion was in coaching and he was successful in molding young men’s lives. No wonder that his role model was legendary football coach Vince Lombardi.
This week is the 20th anniversary of when he was diagnosed with bone cancer, and the beginning of the last year of his life. He delivered a moving speech at the ESPY award banquet after receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian award. His passion to stir people to always give their best and to do it with passion is what Jimmy was all about.
“To me, there are three things we all should do every day. … Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”
“Cancer can take away all my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carrying on forever.” - Jim Valvano